Bears DE Shea McClellin expects to play vs. Vikings
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org November 21, 2012 7:14PM
Chicago Bears end Shea McClellin (99) is on the field in the first half of the exhibition season opener against the Denver Broncos Thursday August 9, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: December 24, 2012 7:12AM
Rookie defensive end Shea McClellin, who missed the Bears’ 32-7 loss against the 49ers with a concussion, said Wednesday he has been cleared by doctors to practice and expects to play Sunday against the Vikings at Soldier Field.
McClellin suffered the concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit in the first quarter of the Bears’ 13-6 loss to the Texans on Nov. 11 at Soldier Field. He said he had headaches last week and wasn’t feeling ‘‘over it’’ until Friday.
‘‘It wasn’t the hardest hit I ever took, but it was just kind of the right spot,’’ said McClellin, who has 21/2 sacks, two tackles for loss and nine quarterback pressures while playing 50 percent of the defensive snaps.
‘‘It happens. I wouldn’t say it was a freak thing. I hit the right spot.’’
Coach Lovie Smith confirmed that wide receiver Alshon Jeffery had ‘‘minor’’ arthroscopic surgery on his knee and will miss two to four weeks.
Jeffery, playing for the first time after missing four games with a broken hand, had two receptions for 15 yards against the 49ers. He has 16 receptions for 199 yards and two touchdowns.
‘‘It’s not ideal when we just got him back and he’s going to be out a few more weeks,’’ Smith said. ‘‘But he is coming back, and we’re a better team with him.’’
The Bears did not practice because of the short week after playing on Monday night. But Smith said wide receiver Brandon Marshall (sore shoulder) and tight end Kellen Davis (ankle) would not have practiced. Quarterbacks Jay Cutler (concussion) and Jason Campbell (ribs) and defensive tackles Stephen Paea (shoulder) and Matt Toeaina (calf) would have been limited.
Wootton vs. Idonije
Smith said Corey Wootton started ahead of veteran Israel Idonije against the 49ers because of production — ‘‘what he’s been doing from training camp on. Once we feel the guy has warranted the opportunity to start or [get more] playing time, we make those moves,’’ he said.
Wootton played 38 snaps and Idonije 40 against the 49ers. McClellin’s return could make it tougher to spread around the snaps at defensive end.
The Vikings could get a boost from the return of wide receiver/kick returner Percy Harvin, who missed their previous game with an ankle injury. Harvin has 62 receptions for 677 yards and three touchdowns.
He also is averaging 35.9 yards on kickoff returns, including a 105-yard touchdown against the Lions in Week 4 and other returns for 50, 45, 43 and 39 yards.
‘‘We really need him,’’ coach Leslie Frazier said.
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has to be licking his chops in anticipation after the 49ers’ Aldon Smith had 51/2 sacks against the Bears.
Allen has 13 sacks in eight games against the Bears, including 31/2 in their Week 17 game on Jan. 1 last season.